Ubisoft and twofour54 Abu Dhabi announced the upcoming opening of a new Ubisoft development studio in Abu Dhabi. This marks the first time a major games publisher has established a direct presence in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC.)
Ubisoft is one of the world’s leading video game publishers and the developers of brands such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia. twofour54 is the Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi, an initiative by the Abu Dhabi government to create an Arabic media & entertainment hub for the Middle East & North Africa.
Slated to open its doors in December this year with a core team of Ubisoft veterans who will help to train an initial team of local recruits, the studio will also contribute their expertise to the ‘twofour54 gaming academy’ a new, full-time game development academy run by twofour54 tadreeb, twofour54’s media training arm in partnership with Ubisoft.
Abu Dhabi’s excellent technological infrastructure, quality training institutions, long-term commitment to create a thriving regional media and entertainment industry were key factors in the decision for Ubisoft to establish a new studio in the Middle East.
“We are excited by the partnership with twofour54. Their commitment to developing a strong regional gaming industry and their knowledge of the region were the perfect foundation on which to continue building our development teams,”said Christine Burgess-Quémard, executive director, worldwide studios at Ubisoft. ”The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East and North Africa region are key factors that will contribute to the success of this new studio.”
Ubisoft’s Abu Dhabi studio will start by working on online gaming titles in collaboration with other Ubisoft studios, and will eventually create original titles that will appeal to local and international audiences alike.
“Digital gaming has always been a priority sector for twofour54 and to partner with an international market leader such as Ubisoft is great news for the region’s gaming industry,” commented Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. “The digital games played by Arabs have traditionally been developed outside the region, which means that they rarely have a direct relevance to Arab gamers. Our agreement with Ubisoft will benefit the region in that it will enable the development of titles that resonate with the local population, whilst also building the skills of young Arabs to allow the region to create its own games and developing a gaming industry base here at twofour54.”
Yannick Theler, a ten-year veteran at Ubisoft has been chosen to manage the new studio. Yannick’s experience at Ubisoft began at Ubisoft Switzerland as Marketing & Sales Director before being appointed Vice President of Business Development for Ubisoft’s China activities and most recently served as Human Resources Director of Ubisoft Shanghai.